Working with Lawyers

Communication between you and your lawyer about your legal issue is confidential.

Any communication between you and your lawyer related to getting legal advice is confidential; it cannot be shared with anyone else without your permission or consent. This includes information about your business and affairs that your lawyer learns during the course of your professional relationship. A lawyer also has a duty to be loyal to every client – your lawyer must not allow any other interests to influence advising you or acting on your behalf.

Meeting with your lawyer

It helps to prepare before your meeting with a lawyer, so you can be ready to give all the information the lawyer will need and to ask the appropriate questions. .

Before your meeting:

  • write out the details of your legal matter and the facts in chronological order from beginning to end;
  • prepare a list of names, addresses and phone numbers of the people involved;
  • take all relevant documents with you;
  • bring government-issued identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.), as your lawyer is required to confirm your identity.

During your meeting:

  • tell your whole story, even if it is damaging or embarrassing (remember, anything you tell your lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice is confidential);
  • talk to your lawyer about his or her legal opinion. Find out about your options and alternatives. Make sure you and your lawyer agree on your plans and priorities and on the outcome you are seeking;
  • talk to your lawyer about fees.

Who works at a lawyer’s office

Some lawyers work on their own while others work with assistants and other lawyers. Before you meet with a lawyer, it will be helpful to the different staff that may work in a legal office.

Lawyers have a law degree from an accredited university and complete the Law Society's Admission Program. Your lawyer may also assign some of the more routine parts of your file to lawyers with lower billing rates to reduce costs.

Paralegals prepare letters and court documents under the supervision of a lawyer and are permitted to give certain legal advice under the supervision of a lawyer.

Legal assistants are specially trained staff who work under the lawyer’s supervision to prepare legal documents or do research.

Articled students are law school graduates who are training to be lawyers. They often do research and conduct interviews. Articled students are also allowed to represent you on certain types of court matters.